Can substance abuse treatment and recovery be digitised?

May 5, 2016

addiction treatment onlineThere’s been a certain amount of fanfare over the potential for digital health companies’ to bridge what have traditionally been two separate realms of healthcare — primary care and behavioral healthcare. Telepsychology niche players have sprouted over the past few years with varying levels of success. But one area that tends to get overlooked is substance abuse and alcoholism in particular.

This week at Blueprint Health‘s demo day, Lauren Stahl talked about her journey from working on Wall Street in UBS Equity Sales division to substance abuse addiction, recovering from that experience and setting up Sparkite. Her goal was to reduce the depressing statistics she cited that 60 percent of people who go to drug or alcohol rehab relapse after one year and another 80 percent will go to another facility.

Stahl believes the lack of or limited follow-up care by these facilities was to blame so she developed an aftercare support solution. It connects addiction treatment facilities with their clients. The idea is that by maintaining a connection with residents when their programs end, they can know how their patient population is faring afterwards. People would download the app at the time they leave the program and receive weekly quality of life surveys to fill out. From a business point of view, they can influence the likelihood that if they do relapse, they’ll return to the previous facility rather than going to a new one. The treatment centers get billed for on a monthly basis for the service.

Addicaid, a startup that’s in the latest Dreamit Ventures accelerator cohort, formed its business on an app initially to help people identify and find good support groups in their area. That led to the development of tech to support addiction recovery — to make it easier and more accessible. A lot of it is through content aimed at supporting the different stages of addiction across prevention, treatment and recovery through a section called “Score.” There are myriad articles drug addictions from cocaine and opiates. Its bright graphics and smart design is pretty engaging, almost too much. Although the content side seems well thought out, the rest of the website feels very much like a work in progress. Once it’s time in the accelerator program at DreamIt comes to an end, it will be worth having another look to see how the website has evolved. To read more click here.

Addictions treatments will be discussed at the Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference 2016, themed Alcohol – Other Drugs – Behavioural Addictions, Prevention, Treatment and Recovery will be held on the Gold Coast from the 19 – 20 May 2016. To view the high quality Conference Program CLICK HERE.

There is still time to register for the conference. To register your attendance at the conference CLICK HERE.

Hosted by The Australia and New Zealand Mental Health Association promotes and encourages participation from all parts of the sector towards a shared appreciation of what medical, psycho-social and peer-based approaches can offer, through the experiences of service users, clinicians, and researchers.

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